THE CHURCH: GOD’S NEW SOCIETY
Why Did God Save Me?
Jerry A Collins
v What is the source of our salvation?
v What is the goal of our salvation?
v How are we brought near to God as Gentiles?
I have often had people tell me about their near tragic situations when such and such happened and what seemed a miraculous deliverance, they then testified that God still had a purpose for their being here. A deliverance of some kind that could only be attributed to the grace of God brought them to conclusion that God still has them here for a reason. I think that is a legitimate concern for believers to consider. Why are we still here? I have been delivered from my sin and it’s condemnation and I am guaranteed heaven but what about now? Actually, we can say the same thing we have heard these others say, namely that God still has a reason and purpose for our still remaining here. So you must know that you remain a saved, born-again, delivered person in Jesus Christ here on the planet for a specific purpose. It has to do with something we can only do here on this side of the grave and not on the other. This subject begins our study of Ephesians 2:8-13.
GOD SAVES US SO WE WILL PERFORM GOOD WORKS 8-10
There are four ways our salvation is spelled out to bring us to this conclusion:
1. The basis of our salvation is Grace:For by grace are you saved 8a. At the get-go we have to remember that our rescue has nothing to do with us at all. It is grace—God’s kindness extended like a hand to one about to go under—to the undeserving. We cannot earn it by performance. Salvation is all of God. We could never rescue ourselves. We cannot take any credit. There is no opportunity to supplement it. Our whole rescue is fully source in the grace of God.
2. The means of our rescue is through faith:you saved through faith. So salvation that was purchased by Christ’s death is available to everyone but is not applied to everyone. In other words a person is not automatically saved because Christ died but when he or she places his or her trust in God’s gracious provision. The fact is, we do none of the work to make our rescue possible—God does all of it. Rather we rely upon what God has accomplished in His Son on the cross 2000 years ago. We do not make any of the chair we sit on—we had no part in crafting them but we trust in the chair to support us because it is trustworthy.
3. The origin of our salvation is a gift from God:and this is not of yourselves it is the gift of God 8b.So there is no origin within us or source from us that contributes to our salvation. The whole concept of salvation—(propitiation, expiation, reconciliation, predestination, justification, substitution, redemption, and glorification),is a gift package delivered to us by God in His Son. This gift is outside of us and is to be received. I like people who like to give gifts. Ilike to be given gifts.
Not of works lest anyone should boast. So our salvation does not come from within us—we are not inherently saved—but neither does it come from us through our efforts. There is nothing about us, or in us, or from us that delivers us. We have no connections, no ties, no ability, no lineage, no position, and no performance that gives us any kind of edge. And since we cannot secure our salvation we can’t take any credit for it either. Only God gets that. Now I can boast in God (Rom ) all I want. I can boast in the cross (Gal ) all I wish. I can boast in Christ (Acts ) as often as possible. But I cannot say anything about myself (1 Cor ).
4. The purpose of our salvation is to perform good works: …created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Statement:For we are His workmanship. God is a craftsman. Her has fashioned us out of the destructive element of sin. This is the reason why salvation is God’s gift to us, and nothing we have fashioned ourselves. God has sculpted each believer out of the clay of sin. God’s workmanship is deliberate, specific, and purposeful.
Purpose:created in Christ for good works. (1) We are a brand new creation in Christ Jesus. This is the workmanship God has fashioned. Gal we are a new creation. Eph 4:2 we are a new person. (2) For good works prepared beforehand. So this is the goal of our being created anew in Christ. Notice,God’s workmanship is not achieved by good works but it results in them (Tit ; 3:8). But what are these works? They are good works. So by nature they are morally and beneficially good for us, for others around us, for God. Incredibly, these works were already determined before each believer was created a new person in Christ! But what work are these? They are the works that will be spelled out in chps 4-6. God has plan for your present life. And what is the purpose of these works prepared beforehand? (3) In order that you might walk in them. Walking according tot hem is the purpose. Notice to walk in them not work in them. It is not doing a work for God but God doing a work in and thru a believer. We do not contribute to the work of God with our works. We participate with God in His and He has already prepared those.
FORMERLY OUT, WE ARE NOW IN GOD’S FAMILY IN CHRIST
Jesus Christ death was no ordinary one. It was a sacrifice not martyrdom. Why the payment? He commands us ‘to remember’ to alert ourselves to the unenviable position we had when we had no relationship with God.
1. Remember we were ostracized from Jewish favor 11. The Jews considered Gentiles inferior since we did not practice circumcision. It was a stigma and they held us in contempt as foreigners, heathen, and pagan. Circumcision had a national and spiritual significance as a mark of distinction for the Jew. It was a sign or purity and loyalty to God.
2. Remember we were unprivileged 12. We were so in 5 ways:
We were without Christ We had no Messiah like
Alienated from citizenship We had no place, no stake, or
any claim to the Theocratic state of
Strangers to covt of promise We had no stake in Abe covt enhanced by Davidic and new covts. We were excluded from these unconditional promises of a land, nation, blessing.
We have no hope Without the promises we had nothing to look forward to. No victories to celebrate. We were excluded.
Without God in the world So Gentiles in a desperate
condition. Not believing in God even with evidence thru
3. But now all is changed 13. Here is the climax by contrast! “Formerly’ “But now”. “Separate from Christ” “In Christ”. There are 2 contrasts to show change. (1) “Far away” now “Brot near”. Jews were near to God because they had His revelation explaining their approach to God. We lacked that but now in Christ we have ultimate revelation of God in Christ’s life & death. (2) Not by our works but blood of Christ. Our new status is Christ’s doing. We benefit from God’s favor too. Now in union with Jews & promises Christ is the peace-maker. Cost to bring us near to God was dear.
1. Don’t ever accommodate someone’s religious point of view to approach or appease God. Reject it outright.
2. Remember the unsaved are still separated from God in unbelief>